A modern bridge in Pepperell Massachusetts, approximately where the minutewoman ambushed the British, via WikiCommons.

The word “prudent” means to be cautious and careful, and in turn the name “Prudence” intends to invoke the same characteristics in the woman to whom it is bestowed. However, Prudence Cummings Wright threw the caution of her namesake to the wind and worked fervently to be an active supporter of American Independence. 

Born November 26, 1740, in Hollis New Hampshire, Prudence was 25 when the Revolution began and saw it to be her moral duty to become involved. During her upbringing, the messages she received regarding independence were mixed and nonuniform, leading her to conclude that the colonies deserved their freedom all on her own. 

In 1761 at 21 years old, Prudence married David Wright, an avid supporter of the Revolution; this union solidified Prudence’s dedication to the rebellion against the British. David encouraged Prudence to be as politically active as possible and supported her desire to step in and take action to help the Continental Army. 

Shortly after the war began, Prudence announced that she wanted to spearhead the organization of a women’s militia capable of fighting against the redcoats should they ever be needed.  She gathered women living around her and created a militia of fierce fighters capable of holding their own. 

On the fateful day of April 19, 1775, Prudence and other women were warned of British troops advancing toward their town. They adorned themselves in men’s clothing and weaponry in an attempt to scare them away from the town. That evening, their plan went into effect. 

The women were able to successfully fight the advancing redcoats and eventually scared them into retreat—they even captured a few soldiers during the attack! This group of brave women became known as the Minutewomen or Mrs. David Wright’s Gaurd, and placks have been placed in remembrance of their brave actions near Jewett’s Bridge in Pepperell Massachusetts. 

Following her successful ventures as an American Revolutionary, Prudence returned home to her husband David, who applauded her for her commitment to a cause he was similarly dedicated to. They ended up having 11 children in total and settled permanently in Pepperdell. Prudence eventually passed away at the age of 84 in 1823. 

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